Changes to U.S. Livestock Tracking Rules Raise Food Safety Concerns
Published: March 12, 2010 | Country: Canada
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A recent decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to abandon its voluntary livestock tracking system in favor of a narrower — but mandatory — program has raised food-safety concerns.
Because the USDA's new system only requires tracking of livestock transported across state lines, meat packers and processors are concerned that they will not be able to sufficiently assure customers that outbreaks have been sourced and contained. In the absence of documentation of the source and containment of outbreaks, customers and foreign purchasers are likely to ban the importation of all meat in the event of an outbreak.
"Food safety has become more complicated in the age of global supply chains and increased government regulation, media scrutiny, and public awareness," notes Mac Nadel, Marsh's Retail/Wholesale Practice Leader.
"Incidents have been known to impact a company's viability. Companies must be able to not only reduce the likelihood of recalls but also to meet regulatory requirements and effectively respond to recalls and protect their brands," Nadel added.